EDUCATION

It's A School's Job To Acknowledge Race

Jul 31, 2017
Author Grace Lin.
Courtesy of Grace Lin

A few years ago, commentator Grace Lin joined the Diversity Committee of her child's preschool in western Massachusetts . When one of the members asked dubiously whether race really needed to be addressed with young children, Lin knew the answer instantly.

When I was a child, the way adults dealt with race in my community was by not talking about it.

I remember in fifth grade, after I'd answered a question correctly, a boy burst in saying, “She just knows that because she’s Chin—,” only to be cut off by our teacher.

State receiver Jessica L. Huizenga spoke of the Southbridge Public Schools turnaround plan on Friday, June 24, 2016.
Michelle Williams / MassLive

Massachusetts education officials must find a new leader for the Southbridge school district, following the resignation of its state-appointed receiver.

Pittsfield High School is designed to accomodate 1,600 students, but only had about 900 during the last school year.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

One school district for all 15,000 of Berkshire County's school children. That's what an advisory panel of educators, local officials and business leaders is recommending. They commissioned a new study that said this approach could solve a lot of the problems schools are facing.

The sign outside St. Joseph Central High School in Pittsfield.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

After holding classes 120 years, Berkshire County's lone Catholic high school, St. Joseph Central of Pittsfield, closed its doors last week.

The school's closure was announced last fall amid sagging enrollment. And as the process has begun to clean out the building, students and staff members have largely moved on.

An online petition urged the school committee to change the mascot of Turners Falls High School.
Screen shot / Change.org

Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg said he opposes a ban on Native American mascots in public schools. A bill proposed in the legislature would do just that. Rosenberg was asked about the proposal during an interview on WGBH radio.

"It should be a matter of local decision," Rosenberg said. "One of my communities just went through this debate and it is really about local standard."

Mass. AG Investigates Incidents At Easthampton High

May 25, 2017
A person wearing a Confederate flag jacket, outside Easthampton High School on May 3, 2017.
Submitted Photo / NEPR

The school superintendent in Easthampton said disciplinary action has been taken against a student who allegedly bullied others through social media.

This comes as Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey investigates incidents at Easthampton High School.

Earlier this month, the School Committee voted to ban students from wearing the Confederate flag.

Later, a student posted on Instagram the words "Make Easthampton Great Again" with photo-shopped images of students and the principal holding guns in front of a Confederate flag.

Holyoke Teens Develop Anti-Bullying App

May 18, 2017
Girls Inc. Holyoke participated in Technovation Challenge. Pictured (left to right): Stella Cabrera, Crystalee Mendez, Meghan Bone (staff) and Jaylynn Rentas.
Sean Teehan / NEPR

Inside a stuffy second-story conference room in Holyoke’s innovation district, a small group of developers spent about three months creating a mobile app meant to combat bullying.

But they're not employees at a hot new tech startup. They’re teenage girls from Holyoke tasked with building an app that addresses an issue in their community.

A sign against the "Indians" mascot.
Phil Demers / Masslive

The Gill-Montague Massachusetts school committee has a new line-up following an election Monday that also addressed a controversial sports mascot.

In more than a two-to-one margin, voters in Montague supported keeping the "Indians" as the Turners Falls High School mascot.

The referendum was non-binding, however. It does not change the school committee's previous vote to eliminate the mascot, which has been called offensive by many Native Americans.

Governor Baker gets an update on the Springfield Empowerment Zone at Forest Park Middle School.
Alden Bourne / NEPR

Governor Charlie Baker was in Springfield to hear the latest on the Springfield "Empowerment Zone, which consists of six middle schools and a high school.

In an "Empowerment Zone," principals and teachers have broad autonomy over everything from the curriculum to the budget. The results after the first year were mixed, with some test results up and some down.

A person wearing a Confederate flag jacket, outside Easthampton High School on May 3, 2017.
Submitted Photo / NEPR

Can a school prevent students from wearing the Confederate flag? The school committee in Easthampton, Massachusetts, did just that this week, raising questions about the rights of students and responsibilities of educators.

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